One of Preston's bus lanes is to be scrapped - and another opened up to cyclists

The bus lane on Church Street is set to be removed.
The bus lane on Church Street is set to be removed.
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A bus lane in Preston is to be scrapped to smooth the passage of other vehicles leaving the city centre.

Lancashire County Council’s cabinet voted to remove the bus priority along the section of Church Street between Derby Street and the A59 Ringway.

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The road will soon accommodate two lanes of traffic which can be used by all types of vehicle.

A bus operator objected to the change during a public consultation, claiming that ten minutes would be added to some passenger journeys as a result. The firm suggested that the lane should instead be better marked and more strongly enforced.

But councillors accepted a report by officers which noted that the ban on cars was poorly observed and that only five bus services operated in the lane, the frequency of which was “not considered sufficient to warrant the road space being dedicated to such a use”.

The consultation attracted responses from those objecting to the controversial camera-enforced bus lanes elsewhere across the centre of Preston - even though they were not up for debate.

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Commenting on recent publicity about how much money is generated by some of the other schemes in the area, council leader Geoff Driver said: “We wouldn’t get any revenue from [the bus lanes] if people abided by the rules - they are there to help the flow of traffic.”

Cabinet member for highways, Keith Iddon, added that the cash collected in fines for breaching the rules was reinvested into the county’s highways.

Meanwhile, a bus lane on the other side of the city centre will be opened up to cyclists. Councillors were told that bike riders already used the route on Fishergate Hill “without a detrimental impact on buses”.

Members voted to give the green light to the change, which acknowledged “a demand from cyclists for direct access to the city centre from the west”.